Sold for $37,400 at 2011 The Scottsdale Auction - Gooding & Company.
In September of 1965, Lee Iacocca authorized Ford's Advance Design Office to begin work on a new project for a two-door personal luxury car. The result of their work, the Continental Mark III, made its debut in mid-1968. The vehicle had a long hood, short rear deck with continental spare tire treatment and a new grille. The car was an immediate success with buyers, and by 1970 the model had received minor aesthetic upgrades like new wheel covers, concealed windshield wipers, a Cartier clock and walnut veneers on the instrument panel, steering wheel and door trim.
The Mark III brought with it many technical innovations including a computer-controlled Sure-Track rear brake system, which was a precursor to anti-lock brakes that was developed by Kelsey-Hayes. The Mark III was the first American car to offer steel-belted radial tires as a standard feature.
This Mark III wears its original mechanical components and cosmetic trim. The paint is mostly original and the vinyl hardtop remains in good condition. Currently, the odometer reads only 15,300 miles. Powering the car is a 460 cubic-inch overhead valve V-8 delivering 365 horsepower. There are four-wheel drum brakes and a Select-Shift 3-Speed Turbo-Drive automatic transmission.
In 2007, the car was acquired by its current owner.
In 2011, the car was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. The vehicle was estimated to sell for $35,000 - $45,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $37,400 inclusive of buyer's premium.By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2011
Few changes were made to the Mark III for 1970. Few were needed. The vinyl roof became standard, and the parking lights now illuminated with the headlamps. The interior upholstery received a facelift, eliminating the diamond-tufted look of the 1969 models. The simulated wood grain accents on the interior were upgraded to genuine Walnut veneer. The windshield wipers were hidden under the back edge of the hood, which also allowed heat in the engine compartment to dissipate better. Michelin steel belted radial ply tires were now provided as standard equipment, complete with a 40,000-mile tread wear guarantee. And the Three Spoke Rim-Blow Steering Wheel, which allowed the driver to operate the horns simply by squeezing the inner rim was a new feature, also standard. In addition to the new steering wheel, the ignition key was relocated to the steering column, and now featured a locking device that locked the steering wheel and the transmission selector lever when the key was removed. All GM products adopted this feature in 1969.
The twelve-mile road test which all Lincolns had endured since 1961 was eliminated, in favor of a road-test simulator. The simulator overcame the effects of bad weather, test driver opinion, and measuring devices that might not be adjusted properly. The new simulator also saved Ford a lot of time. And time is money. The new optional Stardust metallic paints used bronze particles to give the paint a golden sparkle, instead of the aluminum particles used previously. Another interesting change--one that was deleted early in production--was the time delay map light. Designed to remain on for a few seconds after the doors closed, presumably to illuminate the ignition switch, it was a great idea that just didn't get the opportunity to catch on.
The Mark III's main competition was the Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado. Sales of the Mark III were a stone's throw from those of the Caddy, which must have concerned the folks at GM just a little. The Eldorado received a modest facelift for 1970, and also got a new engine--the 8.2 Litre (500 cubic inch) V-8. Rated at 400 horsepower, this would be the largest engine to ever be installed in an American production car. The Eldorado utilized this engine through the 1976 model year.
With the numbers for the Mark III and Eldorado so close, this created a rivalry between the two cars.
Motor Trend Magazine even began the first of what would be an annual review of the two cars, calling the article 'King of the Hill', the magazine compared the two cars feature for feature. In the end, the Mark III won in areas of leather quality and seating configuration, as well as 'sheer plushness...from a luxury standpoint', but lost to Eldorado on general organization of the driving compartment, instrument legibility, and headroom. Overall, the Mark III was given the edge. The response to the article was huge! Motor Trend received a large number of responses, professionally typed on crisp business letterheads. No comment is noted as to which marque received the most mail in its favor.
Advertising for the 1970 Mark III remained dignified and understated. Few words were used in ad copy, as well as the sales brochures. Apparently, Lincoln felt that the car could speak for itself. Lincoln was right. The Continental Mark III remains one of the most distinctive cars on the road. And the quality that was used to build the car is still very much evident in some of the high mileage examples that still exist. The 1970 Continental Mark III. A classic in its own time.Source - Automotive Mileposts